tv [untitled] March 1, 2014 5:00am-5:31am PST
>> february meeting of the san francisco ethics commission will now come to order. >> i will call the roll. >> vice chair renne? here. >> commissioner hur? >> here. >> commissioner keane? here. >> commissioner andrews? >> here. >> everyone is present and accounted for, thank you. >> the first order of business will be the public comment on any matters appearing before our commission today, whether they are on the agenda or not.
>> there is something that i have to do. >> commissioners ray hartz, director of san francisco open government. on this screen is a list of 16 orders of determination issued by the sunshine ordinance task force in cases i have filed. and that 16 out of 21 cases that i have one a success rate of 76 percent. and now, i will ask you or the commissioners to take a guess how many of these have been enforced? i think that you all know, you
just don't want to admit the fact is zero. not one. what i think is particularly interesting is the fact that all of these cases sent, of all of the cases sent to the ethics commission you have dismissed every one. the members of this body have absolutely no interest in helping the citizens of san francisco but only in protecting the city against its citizens, another interesting fact is that many of these cases involve violations of the law by the people who appoint you. so what do san francisco's gets for the millions of dollars that it costs to support this body each year? an infrastructure designed to cover the back sides of city wrong doers. >> most are familiar that the city librarian was found to have purgered himself for 3 consecutive years making claims
that the friends of the san francisco public librariry gave him nothing which actual year they were giving him thousands of dollars worth of gifts of travel, hotel accommodations, transportation, food, conference attendance, etc.. he spent two years withholding public records from me. i had to file two petitions to the superintendent of records in the city attorney's office, and the first petition after a year of waiting for him to give me documents was denied because he was giving me documents. another year, went by, and filed another petition and they gave me another pile of documents all of which should have been given to me within the first two to three months of my original request. and the reason that he did this? he wanted to hide the fact that he had purgered himself and filed his statements of economic interest each year, saying that he got nothing, and then had to go back when the ftpc caught him and refile and show the thousands of dollars of gifts he got from them.
that is abuse of position. when you are guilty of something and what you do is abuse of process to keep the records, that the person who is looking into it needs, something that they are entitled to, under both state and local law, because you know that if it is concealed, you will be found in violation, that shows a definite consciousness of guilt. >> thank you. >> any other public comment? okay. well, the next agenda item is the election of new officers, for the commission. i have enjoyed being chair for the past year. but, i believe in sharing the wealth and so we are hoping that we will have some nominations for a new chair for this coming year. and i would like to open up the
discussion for any nominations for the chairmanship. >> i would just point out that nominations for chair do not require a second. and you can nominate yourself if you wish. >> fellow commissioners? >> preliminary matter, would i like to thank the chair for her service and for the great job she did for the past year, thank you. >> thank you, commissioner, hur. >> do we have any nominations? >> do we have any volunteers. >> i will nominate ben hur for chair. >> thank you. >> commissioner ben hur who has served very, very well as a past chair has been nominated. anyone else? i would only second it even though it does not need it. >> all right.
any discussion about commissioner hur as chair? >> any public comment on the nominations? >> commissioner ray hartz, director of san francisco open government, and anyone who either here, well there is only two members of the public here, which shows how much interest there is. or members of the public watching on tv, if they wish to contact me, this is my e-mail address. it is sfopen government bsat sbcglobal.net and i would appreciate and i have heard from hundreds of people, and i would appreciate anyone who wishes to provide comment regarding what i say at these meetings that is the address to which to send it. the election for the officers
of this body is like rearranging deck chairs on the titanic, it does not seem to matter who is in charge, absolutely nothing gets done, but actually changes the ethical atmosphere of san francisco i have asked before with you one more time, tell me something that the members of this body have done to make public participation in government more possible? how about something that would prevent the city employees from violating the law to cover their own asses? city librarian herrera, after holding public records unlawfully for two years was only found guilty of perjury after the case was brought before a state agency. during that process there was not e are checked.
and we see lists after list, after list. of things that he now says and acknowledges that he received. that is only 2009. and he had to file the same thing for 2010 and 2011. and one of the reasons additional reason that he withheld the public record that he was by law, that he was required to give was because it allowed him to do this for two
additional years. ftpc said that we can only go back three years, and if he had not withheld the document thises would have been come to public light two years earlier, and the unlawful behavior would have stopped two years ago, and like i said i would have never even bothered to bring it to you because all that you would have done is cover his ass. >> any other public comments? >> any other nominations. hearing none, i would like to call for a vote on electing commissioner ben hur as chair of the commission, for 2014. >> 2015. >> and 2014/2015. thank you. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> all against? >> i think that it is
unanimous, commissioner hur? you did too good of a job last year, or the previous year, i should say. thank you. >> we will look forward. and now, for vice chair, and any nominations for vice chair. current vice chair? has done a great job and commissioner renne? >> thank you. >> so, do i hear any nominations for vice chair? >> i nominate commissioner keane. >> all right, you look like you are thinking about it. >> thank you. >> i was just about to nominate commissioner renne. >> i would like to point out that commissioner renne is eligible serve another term. >> i am flat tered but i think that i would like to get my feet a little more wet before i move up the chain. but thank you very much.
i'm flattered and honored that you would consider me for it, but i am going to decline and i would like to nominate commissioner renne to be reappointed as chair. >> vice chair. >> excuse me. >> no objections? >> no objections. >> all right, any other nominations? >> all right. any discussion about commissioner renne as vice chair? >> any public comment about commissioner renne as vice chair. >> ray hartz, director of san francisco open government. i sometimes get a feeling of coming in to the middle of casablanca, where the french inspector says, round up the usual suspects. and it is always the same faces doing the same thing. and very frankly, i don't see anything that you do that
actually improves ethical behavior in this city. and not one thing. the karine case was a fiasco, how many millions of dollars did you spend trying to get rid of an elected official when the real way is that is supposed to be done is through a recall election, you did it because your masters in city hall said that you need to do this. bottom line is, i don't see anything that you do, except fitz around with the campaign finance laws. and every six weeks, you have another memo saying rearrange the finance laws, and rearrange the finance laws, rearrange the finance laws. that seems to be the only thing that is on your agenda, in fact, later on we are going to be discussing the executive director's report and that is the only thing that has one or two items on it and so basically that is all that you do, and how does that actually improve the open government in
this city? i tell you, you walk into the library commission and you get a library commission president who you yourself recommended unanimously for removal and they sit there and tell people that they are not allowed to talk about certain things that she does not approve of. you have a vice president of the police commission, a former prosecutor who will stand before the public and when they start to talk about something that he does not like, we will tell them point blank you are not allowed to talk about that. he lies to them. he looks them in the eye and he says, you are not allowed to talk about that knowing fell well they are entighted to talk about whatever they feel is appropriate and the board needs to hear.
when i come in here, proi bely sound like an angry old man. but after five years of seeing people like myself treated this way, at boards and commissions by people who take an oath, to support and defend the constitution of the united states of america, as a citizen of this city, a citizen of the united states, and in particular, as a veteran who gave 12 years of his life to the united states submarine service, i take great offense at people who take an oath and then make absolutely no effort for live up to that oath, and in fact, flagrantly flaunt it. >> thank you. >> call the vote? >> all of those in favor of commissioner renne to serve as vice chair for a second term? say aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> and the vote is unanimous, congratulations commissioner renne you are once again the vice chair. >> easy job with mr. hur as the
chair. >> and it is. >> as it was with you. >> and so, beginning at our next meeting, commissioner hur, you will be presiding, and you will be second in command once again. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and for me, it has been a lot of fun. and i have certainly enjoyed it. and found it very educational. to say the least. >> and if i may say, how much i have enjoyed working with you. >> i enjoy working with you mr. st. croix. >> okay, so, we have an issue before us, regarding existing and potential litigation, and it is and it has and it appears on the agenda and we will need to discuss how we want to move forward on this. i believe that the commissioner hur, that you want to say something? >> yes.
before we begin this agenda item i would like to move to recuse myself because one of my law partners represented mr. haki and so i don't think that i should be involved in that. >> i move. >> and i second that. >> discussion, commissioners? >> any public comment on commissioner hur's request to be recused from this discussion? >> hearing none. i will ask for the vote. all in favor of allowing commissioner hur to be recould youseded from this discussion say aye. >> aye. >> it is unanimous and we will allow you to be recused. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair.
>> so, essentially, mr. st. croix and perhaps our representative from the city attorney's office, do you want to explain what we will be looking at? >> so, and i am going to defer to the city attorney in a moment. this is again, like last month sort of a unique situation it is not a process that we have gone through before. but this is not the same as last month. so, it will be necessary to go into closed session. the city attorney and the deputy city attorney will explain in a moment. so first we have should amotion to go into closed session and perhaps words from the city attorney and then a vote. >> do i here a motion? >> so moved that we go into
private session. >> i will second. >> and any discussion? >> public comment? >> do you want me to comment before or after? >> yes, please. >> my view is that we it is necessary to go into closed session, the basically any question that, so just as a bit of back up, you know this was, these two settlements, the city attorney's office and sort of took the lead in negotiating these settlements both with mr. yaki and mr. grijalva and all of the litigation occurred in the context of the settlement negotiations with mr. yaki. and so basically any questions that i could be asked about how the settlement occurred, the process of the settlement and it could not be disclosed. in the public session. >> and so for that reason, i
think that we have to go into closed session. >> and one question, and i believe that we can discuss this openly. when this is has been brought to us by the city attorney's office. but it certainly is something that falls within our jurisdiction as well. but when something is brought simultaneously to the ethics commission and the city attorney's office, as i understand it, then we have... i don't know if it is... >> normally... >> if it is just a process? or if we are bound to let the city attorney's office take over? >> there are occasions when we have done the joint investigations but generally speaking when there is a complaint filed in two places we tend to defer to the higher authority, mostly no resource and issues, but that has been our regular process. >> and this fell within that
boundary? >> yes. >> i think that for explanations of the public as well, that even though the city attorney brought it, we are going to be talking to the city attorney as our lawyer as well, in this closed session, so in order to protect the attorney, client privilege that any individual or any body has. we have an obligation to protect and keep it private and so going into the private session is to make sure that we as litigants don't wave any attorney client privilege and it is not anything to keep any information from the public. it is something that we have to do as litigants if we are going to have attorney client privilege, which we want to enjoy as litigants in any type of a situation. >> as anyone would want. >> yes. >> lawyer client privilege. of course. >> any other comments or discussion on this? >> public comment?
>> ray hartz, director of san francisco open government. this will be a closed session and all members of the public will be asked to leave the chamber. i would insist that mr. hur be asked to leave the chamber also, he has already recused himself based on the fact that his law partner is representing the party and some of your discussion might give him privileged information that could be passed on to his law partner and the party to the case. and i think that it is only fair that if he is not going to be involved in this case, the appearance that he is not being involved in the case would include him leaving the chamber. >> the fact that he is recused from this means that he will leave the chamber. >> no, but this is... >> you had a concern and i addressed it. >> this is a standard, he will be leaving the chamber, that is the protocol.
>> and so, any other public comment? if not, do i hear a motion to... >> we do have a motion. >> yeah. okay. sorry. >> can we have a vote on that motion? >> all in favor of going into closed session? >> aye, aye. >> okay. all of us in favor? >> and commissioner hur has been recused and is leaving the
>> the commission has adopted both settlement agreements and to remain confidential on the other matters in the closed session. >> i so move. >> second. >> any discussion? >> all in favor? >> public comment? >> hearing none. >> call the vote. >> all in favor. >> aye. >> the motion passes unanimously. >> commissioner hur, you will rejoin us. >> thank you. >> so, did we just announce? >> yeah. >> yeah, so the commission has announced that it has adopted both settlement agreements. that discussed in the agenda in the attachments. >> very good. >> madam chair, may i say one thing? >> certainly. >> i just want to also add that
for the record, that i was walled off from this matter within my firm for the matter. >> thank you, we appreciate that. >> all right. >> minutes? >> from the last meeting? >> if you have reviewed them, are there any changes or corrections that need to be made? >> i have a correction. at page 2, of the minutes, and in regard to the discussions relating to miss ellis, the third full paragraph down, where it states an unidentified member of the public stated that miss ellis caused many problems if her community of bay view hunter's point shs she stated that her community does in the receive any benefit and that mis ellis should not have become an administrator, my correction would be to that last sentence, she thought that
miss ellis would be good for the community, the lady did not say that. everything that she said was critical of miss ellis, so they definitely did not make the statement that she thought that miss ellis would be good for the community. >> if i recall i believe that they said when she was new she thought that she would be good for the community but it turned out not to be that way. >> the way that it is characterized here it has her making a statement saying that they thought that she thought she would be good for the community. >> i agree. >> that mischaracterizes the tone. >> we will review the taped record and fix that. >> okay. >> any other corrections or changes? >> any public comment on the minutes? >> commissioners, ray hartz director of san francisco open
government. i only on these minutes want to comment on item number 2. first i want to acknowledge dr. derek hur for all that he did and continues to do to raise the ethical level of city government. what dr. kurr endured sends a large and clear message for the employees of the city, don't report wrong doing and don't trust the whistle blower program and don't trust the people that you work for who are doing the illegal actions that you are trying to report. follow the example of this ethics commission and just look the other way. the ethics commission handles of this matter at best was incompetent, my personal opinion it was nothing less than the collusion with other city entities to cover up wrong doing and illegalties. the final out come, not one city employee was held accountable. they took retribution against
dr. kurr and fired dr. kurr and did not give him three quarters of a million dollars because he was treated well. the only losers in this whole evolution were the citizens of san francisco, who ended up paying $750,000 in a lawsuit, and god only knows how much in legal fees to bring this matter to a conclusion. my question to you is, if this is the way you chose to handle it, what the hell are we paying you for? >> i myself have experienced coming before this board, you have even heard items where you had a conflict of interest. deciding matters against me, that if you had favored, taken my side of it, would have found yourself in violation of the sunshine ordinance. so what you did is you just basically said well we will find this other person not in violation and that way we are what our executive director off the hook and that was one of
the 16 cases that i showed you earlier, that was referred here. the bottom line is, i don't know you, as individual people, and i am probably sure that you are a nice group of people as individuals. but as a group, you are a collective disaster. and i will keep saying it again, not one of you ever answers and i think that members of the public think that sometimes it is because you don't feel you need to, but the bottom line is, what in the hell do you do to make this city a more ethical entity? you don't, you know, the people... want to go to take another job, six weeks after they quit the city job and you say, sure, go ahead. and you know there is not much that you do really that helps this city. and at least, there are people like dr. derek kurr who are willing to take the heat and take the actions necessary to actually do something.
>> thank you. >> any further discussion on the minutes? >> do i hear a motion to approve the minutes as corrected by commissioner keane? >> so moved. >> corrections. >> okay. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> and the motion passes. and mr. st. croix will make a note of that correction. >> yes. >> all right. >> and on the report i want to point first two typos on page 2, under section revenue report, where it says 0.65 percent, and it should just be 65 percent. in that paragraph before the xhart and where it says 0.62 percent it should be 62.5 percent. and i apologize for those typos.